Nashira Davids, Philani Nombembe and Graeme Hosken
SOUTH Africa is fast becoming a major exporter of one of the most destructive drugs on the market – tik.
Only days after a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report singled out South Africa as one of the biggest players in the manufacturing of tik, police yesterday arrested yet another woman for allegedly trying to smuggle a large consignment of the methamphetamine out of the country.
The woman, who is due to appear in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court today, was arrested by border police at Cape Town International Airport on Sunday with tik worth about R3-million concealed in her luggage.
"The suspect arrived in Cape Town on a flight from Johannesburg,” police spokesman Warrant Officer November Filander said.
He said she appeared suspicious and when her luggage was searched 10.5kg of concealed tik was found.
It has emerged that the 46-year-old was arrested in 2006 in Johannesburg for dealing in dagga. Filander said she had been sentenced to seven years in prison in 2007 but was released after serving five years.
One of the most concerning findings in the 2012 World Drug Report was that South Africa had become a leading manufacturer of tik in the southern African region.
The drug, which was first seen in Gauteng – before it became a problem in the Western Cape – is described by the Medical Research Council of South Africa as a "powerfully addictive stimulant”, which has been destroying communities in the Western Cape.
A Pretoria policeman specialising in the tracking of drug dealers and narcotics laboratories said there had been a marked increase in the discovery of tik laboratories in Gauteng.
"While it has been highlighted in the Western Cape, it is far worse in Gauteng, where people have been arrested for producing it from 2003,” he said.